Report Finds High Consumer Awareness of Food Safety Issues

NEW YORK –- Safety is one of the most basic factors driving consumer food-purchasing behaviors, and consumer awareness of food safety issues is high, according to a new report jointly released by Packaged Facts and Wharf Research.

The new report, "Understanding Consumer Attitudes About Food Safety: How Food Manufacturers, Retailers, and the Foodservice Industry Can Build Consumer Trust," reveals that a full 25 percent of the general population can be classified as "highly aware" of food safety as an issue, and as actively avoiding foods and food sources they believe to be unsafe. Yet safety rarely gets the focus it deserves from manufacturers, retailers, and food service providers -- until there's a problem.

"Paramount for the food industry is understanding that safety has grown from the sporadic scares about Salmonella and E.coli contamination into a huge area of consumer concern," said Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts, which is a division of

"Consumers are educating themselves about major food issues, such as allergens, contamination and spoilage, growing and processing practices, and ingredient content such as GMOs," noted Montuori. "This awareness is growing swiftly in every demographic in society, and is affecting how and where consumers are spending their food dollars."

Drawing on more than six months of primary proprietary research involving more than 400 U.S. consumers, the research study discusses consumers' sense of perceived safeness for both foods and food sources, as well as the steps they take to avoid foods and establishments that they consider unsafe. Additionally, consumers responded to a battery of over 140 statements, enabling the compilation of the first-ever attitudinal segmentation of food safety perceptions and psychographic profiles.

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